I have published on a wide range of cultural policy issues including art gallery and museum histories, monuments and public art, cultural heritage, creative industries, cultural development, and cultural values. I specialise in the history of cultural policy and politics from the 18th century to the present day in Anglophone countries. My overarching argument in my work generally is that cultural ‘pump-priming’ of any kind must be clear-eyed about not only its economic or cultural effects but more importantly about its social and political effects.
New and Ongoing Projects
I am currently working on a monograph Museums and the Politics of Urban Redevelopment for publication with Routledge in 2014. The focus of this book is to explore the political rationalities which have informed the roles of 'flagship' museums opened in the last decade or currently under development. The book is international in its scope and includes the examination of case studies in Brisbane, Australia; Hong Kong; Abu Dhabi; Denver, USA, and Newcastle/ Gateshead in the UK. In contrast to much that has been written about 'flagship' museums and 'cultural quarters', which tend to view museum and heritage developments as static monolithic entities, the analysis presented in this book will engage with the complexity of museum and heritage institutions. The monograph thus aims to provide a more considered account of the relations between 'flagship' museum and heritage developments, urban precincts and city/ nation image making.
I am also part of a team, led by PI Andrew Miles at CRESC, working on 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Values'. The AHRC Connected Communities funded £1.5 million project will run from 2012 to 2017.
With Eleonora Belfiore from the University of Warwick I am coordinating the 'Histories of participation, value and governance' part of the larger project. This series of discrete historical projects run by a number of different academics, will result in an integrated, critical examination of the terms, narratives and assumptions constructing present day notions of participation and value and the relations between them. This work commenced in February 2012 and will run until the end of 2014 when a major conference will take place here at the University of Leicester, followed by the publication of a book edited by myself and Eleonora Belfiore in 2015.
The central focus of the 'Understanding Everyday Participation' project is 4 intensive location specific pieces of work around what we are calling 'ecosystems', I am leading the 'ecosystem' work being undertaken in Gateshead and Peterborough. For more detail about the project in general, including detail on this 'histories' and 'ecosystem' work see the project www at www.everydayparticipation.org
Research themes and PhD supervision: If you are interested in studying for a research degree, here you will find themes and areas of interest where I can offer PhD supervision.
Recently Delivered Papers
Gibson, L., 'Not a neutral zone: The political effects of assertions of intrinsic value', at Not Only...But Also: Capturing the Value of Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS, 26th June 2009.
Gibson, L., 'Cultural landscapes, cultural policy and the politics of identity', Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change 4th Annual Conference 2008: Culture and Citizenship, Oxford, 3-5th September, 2008.
Gibson, L., 'In defence of Instrumentality', The Fifth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, Istanbul, Turkey, 20-24th August, 2008.
Gibson, L., 'Valuing Historic Environments: Concepts, Instrumentalisations and Effects', Museums and Instrumentality Research Network, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University, 3rd December, 2007.
Gibson, L., 'Cultural landscapes and identity: is 'heritage' the answer?, Valuing Historic Environments Colloquium 3: Museumisation and Historic Environments, University of Leicester,6th July, 2007.
Past Projects (Funded)
'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Value', Co-I with Abigail Gilmore Co-I and Andrew Miles- PI, AHRC, 2010, Universities of Manchester and Leicester, see (www link coming soon).
'Valuing the Historic Environments: Concepts, Instrumentalisations and Effects', PI with John Pendlebury- Co-I, EPSRC, University of Leicester and Newcastle University, 2006-7, see Valuing Historic Environments (see Publications).
‘Culture Circuits: An Examination of the International Movements and Influence of Ideas and Personnel Shaping Contemporary Cultural Policy’, PI, Princeton University, 2004- 5
‘Cultural Policy and “The Independents” in Australia and Britain’, Co-I with Tom O'Regan-PI, Australian Research Council, University of Melbourne and Griffith University, 2002- 2004
‘Tropical Creative Cities’, PI, University of Melbourne, 2003
‘Public Art and Heritage—History, Practice, Policy’, PI, Australian Research Council, University of Melbourne and Griffith University, 2001- 2003
‘Art for the People: Constructing Australian Identities’, PI, Griffith University, 2000
'Festivals in the Asia-Pacific', (for UNESCO Asia-Pacific), PI, Griffith University, 2000
'Criteria of Professionalisation for Visual Artists', as Researcher for National Association of the Visual Arts, 1999
‘Art for the people: the Federal Art Project and artists unions during the New Deal’, PI, New York University, 1998